Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Continue reading to discover potential casino-based sports betting developments in Massachusetts, Hard Rock international’s integrated resort updates for Japan and a potential end to the Lottoland and Zeal Network saga.
Just as policymakers in the US state of Massachusetts were getting to grips with the notion of three new bills promoting sports betting, governor Charlie Baker said he plans to file legislation that would legalise professional sports gambling in the state.
If approved, the bill would enable the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to hand out Category 1 sport betting licences to MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, which opens this year, while Plainridge Park would be eligible for a Category 2 licence, reports CBS Boston.
In a statement, Baker said the plan represents “an opportunity for Massachusetts to invest in local aid while remaining competitive with many other states [that are] pursuing similar regulations.
Hard Rock International is striving to build upon “35 years of business experience in the Japan market,” as the companies vies for one of the country’s integrated resorts licenses – of which it is thought three are to be initially awarded.
Unveiling a full scale model at a recent Integrated Resort Showcase, plans include monorail access from Chitose International Airport and an authentic Ainu village experience, designed to help raise awareness for the local indigenous Ainu people, as well as educating those who visit the proposed Japan Hard Rock Resort destination in the city of Tomakomai.
A partnership with Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment would see premier Broadway experiences brought to the Japanese public, including exclusive Japan distribution rights to its latest debut, King Kong.
Could the public spat between Lottoland and Zeal Network be finally at an end, after shareholders of the latter voted to approve the planned all-share takeover offer for Lotto24.
Shareholders voted 60 per cent in favour of the deal and also voted to waive the requirement on Günther Group, which will own more than 30 per cent of the combined group, to make a full takeover offer for Zeal.
The vote to excuse the Günther Group from making a takeover offer were passed by the narrowest of margins, with 51 per cent backing the move.
In a statement Lottoland commented that it is “disappointed” with the outcome of today’s General Meeting of Zeal Network shareholders, at which the deal to buy Lotto24 was approved, and has reiterated its view that the transaction is “value destroying”.
In the latest NJDGE report, total gaming revenue for Atlantic City during December was $247.4m, helping full year figures to $2.85bn.
The Garden State’s igaming scene was particularly impressive, recording a 39.7 per cent boost to $29m for 2018’s final month and $298.7m for the full year, a 21.6 per cent increase, whilst patrons wagered £1.24bn across New Jersey during the six and a half months of legalised sports betting.
In response to the latest set of financials, the Casino Association of New Jersey lauded a strong year of growth for Atlantic City.
Praising “strong gains” in casino, sports betting and internet gaming revenues, the CANJ also commended high employment numbers and legalised sports wagering as a strong factor for increased tourism to the beachfront destination.
“This past year was a turning point for Atlantic City,” expressed Kevin Ortzman, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey. “In 2018, we saw increases across the board in gaming revenue, jobs and tourism. Sports betting and online gaming continue to make significant gains, and we look forward to building upon this success in 2019.”